Murder trial is postponed

A detective involved in the case
is under police investigation

Trial for a Waipahu man accused of fatally shooting another man more than two years ago has been delayed until Aug. 29.

Jury selection for Emanuelu Tunoa was to begin Wednesday, but Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto granted defense attorney Myles Breiner's request to postpone the trial.

Breiner said he sought the delay "under duress" until a police Internal Affairs investigation into allegations of misconduct by a police detective in another murder trial is complete.

Earlier this week, prosecutors in the Micah Kanahele murder case told the court that the state attorney general's office had found no basis for filing criminal charges against veteran Detective Sheryl Sunia for her conduct in that case. However, an administrative investigation is continuing.

Breiner said Sunia's alleged conduct in the Kanahele case, as well as two other cases she has been involved with in the past, might affect the Tunoa case. He cited the cases of Christopher Aki, convicted of manslaughter for killing his girlfriend's 11-year-old half sister, and Mario Crawley and Habib Shabazz, both convicted of second-degree assault in a gang rape.

Breiner is expected to file motions to obtain copies of the police reports and documents reviewed by the attorney general's office in reaching its decision not to prosecute Sunia in the Kanahele matter. He will also ask that the case be dismissed for depriving his client of his right to a speedy trial.

Tunoa allegedly was drinking with a man in Waipahu in March 2003 when he allegedly pulled out a shotgun and shot him.

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